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Bobthedog

Help for a beginner college student.

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Evening, I am a longstanding member of Basschat, the sister forum to here, and need some advice. Please be polite to the low end dude! :D

My sister has volunteered me to advise my nephew on buying an electric guitar and start kit. I have no knowledge of such things, however as I went straight to bass and have never even played a guitar.

Can someone please a reasonable guitar for upto say £500 and what amp to get (perhaps for gigs at some point but currently for use in student digs / home). Power? Make? Preferred speaker size etc. Anything I might need to know to help him out. What pedals, if any, should he buy as a starter?

His music taste is what I would call rock, but he believes is metal.

Thank you.

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Welcome, fellow BCer.

Always a tough one, especially as you want your nephew to want to pick it up in order to play it and improve. Yamaha don’t make a bad instrument at any price point IMO. Therefore, they would be my go to brand for a beginner. With that budget, I’d look at the £300ish Pacificas or the Revstars (a bit retro looking, but pointy/SGish enough), they sound great and play well. With shapes in minds, an Epiphone SG in the same £300+ price bracket could also be considered. However, if it was my money, it would be Yamaha all day long (says the man who owns a Squier and an Epiphone 😆).

In terms of an amp and FX, I think I’d start off with a modelling amp with built in FX, something like the Boss Katana, Vox Cambridge or Line6 Spider. 50 watts or so should be plenty for starters and a headphone out is a must (all 3 do). I’ve seen some very favourable reviews of the Boss, so I think your sister would be safe with that. If they don’t come with a footswitch, I’d always encourage getting one to get the full use of the amp.

Guitar and amp for £500-£600 with maybe some room for a few accessories.

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1 hour ago, ezbass said:

Welcome, fellow BCer.

Always a tough one, especially as you want your nephew to want to pick it up in order to play it and improve. Yamaha don’t make a bad instrument at any price point IMO. Therefore, they would be my go to brand for a beginner. With that budget, I’d look at the £300ish Pacificas or the Revstars (a bit retro looking, but pointy/SGish enough), they sound great and play well. With shapes in minds, an Epiphone SG in the same £300+ price bracket could also be considered. However, if it was my money, it would be Yamaha all day long (says the man who owns a Squier and an Epiphone 😆).

In terms of an amp and FX, I think I’d start off with a modelling amp with built in FX, something like the Boss Katana, Vox Cambridge or Line6 Spider. 50 watts or so should be plenty for starters and a headphone out is a must (all 3 do). I’ve seen some very favourable reviews of the Boss, so I think your sister would be safe with that. If they don’t come with a footswitch, I’d always encourage getting one to get the full use of the amp.

Guitar and amp for £500-£600 with maybe some room for a few accessories.

This is great EZbass. Thank you and some good stuff for me to start the conversation. He has expressed interest several times, so hopefully an easier sell.

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2 hours ago, Bobthedog said:

This is great EZbass. ...

EZBass has 'nailed' it; not a jot to add or subtract. Lessons would be useful, if the fellow learns that way (many don't, though...). I'd have loved to have had such gear when I started; he's a very lucky chap. rWNVV2D.gif

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Well, I’m fair blushing by your reactions, gents. 
 

 


 

 

 

BTW, no need for the capitalised Z, it’s an abbreviation of my surname, not my finding bass easy in a US speech way. (For the record, I don’t find it easy O.o).

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Posted (edited)

Hi there @Bobthedog. Good to see yet another BCer making the journey across the divide.

Sound advice as always from @ezbass, but with one caveat. IMHO, 50W of amp power is overkill (notwithstanding the number of modelling amps with this sort of power rating that come in at this price band). Even a solid state 50W amp will go terrifyingly loud in a bedroom/practice situation.

Has anyone considered spending the money on an entry-level valve amp such as this? Don't be fooled by the wattage rating; it will go plenty loud enough for practice, and will have a better core sound to boot.

Note that this opinion comes from a marked preference for valve amps on the ground of better tone. Whether that will be important to anyone involved in the purchase is something I have no control over, but just so I've said it.

Edited by leftybassman392

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Update: I've just re-read the OP, and just to be clear; Is the £500 budget for everything or just the guitar? Also, how firm is the £500?

Could make a considerable difference to the sort of gear folk recommend.

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17 minutes ago, leftybassman392 said:

Update: I've just re-read the OP, and just to be clear; Is the £500 budget for everything or just the guitar? Also, how firm is the £500?

Could make a considerable difference to the sort of gear folk recommend.

I love the way most  responses are from bass players from Basschat!

I made up the budget to be honest, I have no idea on what budget constitutes reasonable for guitar. My sister is cautious with her money but also wealthy enough to want to and be able to do right by her kids. I guess the answer is what is best for a learner, who may give up. He played sax in his school band and so is already musical. I have a call with him tomorrow and then a potential PMT Oxford visit just after 12 Apr, assuming he is back at college by then.

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Based on your imagined budget....🤣

Definitely something like the Katana, most probably the actual Katana.

Guitars around the £300 mark, I'm a big fan of Vintage. Nicely put together instruments based on the traditional designs, with useful features like Wilkinson hardware, EZ lock tuners, quality pickups, opposing wound single coils to cut hum, stagger drilled teams that stay in tune... Just practical touches that really make a difference.

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Just now, NickD said:

Based on your imagined budget....🤣

Definitely something like the Katana, most probably the actual Katana.

Guitars around the £300 mark, I'm a big fan of Vintage. Nicely put together instruments based on the traditional designs, with useful features like Wilkinson hardware, EZ lock tuners, quality pickups, opposing wound single coils to cut hum, stagger drilled teams that stay in tune... Just practical touches that really make a difference.

Thanks Nick, again very useful.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Bobthedog said:

I love the way most  responses are from bass players from Basschat!

Actually I'm more of a guitar player who can play bass to a decent standard. Just don't tell anybody over there, ok? :ph34r:

Edited by leftybassman392
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Worth seeing what the kid's favourite players are and what they play; at that early stage, having a guitar you feel cool posing with can make a big difference in keeping 'em sticking with it, imo. An SG could be a good option there. I'd be inclined to buy carefully at the budget end with the guitar, and spend more money on the amp and maybe a couple of cool pedals  - some of those £25ish Chinese mini pedals all over ebay, they can be very cool. 

If an SG style is what works, I'd be looking at the Vintage range. Their SG type  - the VS6 - is phenomenally good for the money. A fair bit cheaper than Epiphone, and an Epi beater imo  (qualifier: I've not had a chance to try the new headstock Epiphones). They have models from about £150 for the standard one up to some fancier vintage styles for £350ish. The RRPs are a fair bit higher than you'll find in a guitar shop. The vintage range takes some serious beating. The cheaper, Korean made Tokais can be worth a look too. 

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On 31/03/2021 at 14:23, NickD said:

Based on your imagined budget....🤣

Definitely something like the Katana, most probably the actual Katana.

Guitars around the £300 mark, I'm a big fan of Vintage. Nicely put together instruments based on the traditional designs, with useful features like Wilkinson hardware, EZ lock tuners, quality pickups, opposing wound single coils to cut hum, stagger drilled teams that stay in tune... Just practical touches that really make a difference.

JUst spotted this after I posted: yes, it's very hard indeed to go past Vintage for a new guitar. Even these days when I'm looking at selling off a lot of what I have and buying just a few, nicer pieces, I'd still consider them. Hells, if they were better at donig left handers in their 'relic' type, I'd have a couple of those already. 

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if you can go for secondhand then there is a huge range of superstrat guitars from numerous companies that should be affordable, Ibanez, Jackson, Charvel, BC Rich, Washburn, Aria, Yamaha, the list could go on,

Something with 2 single coil pickups and a humbucker and a floating trem (Floyd rose or similar) can be a very versatile guitar for many types of music but excellent for rock/metal 2 humbuckers with coil splitting options works very well too.

 

Matt

 

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